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Washington state’s aerospace future up to union: Boeing

Jan. 6, 2014, Seattle, Wa. - Boeing Co. told political leaders in the Puget Sound on Monday that this week’s vote by Machinists will determine the fate of some jobs on the new 777X airplane.


January 6, 2014
By The Associated Press

In a press conference, local politicians gathered in Everett to
discuss the importance of approving the revised contract offer. Boeing
executive Ray Conner told the government leaders earlier in the day that
an accepted contract will ensure that the wing work stays in the Puget
Sound, but a vote to reject the deal will ensure the jobs go elsewhere.

 

Kent
Mayor Suzette Cooke says there is no other choice but to vote yes.
Otherwise, the politicians warned of a decline in the state’s aerospace
industry.

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“We will see the demise of the economic stimulus that Boeing has provided us,” Cooke said.

 

Local
union leaders have opposed the contract because they believe it
involves too many concessions, including a plan to shift workers away
from traditional pensions. National leaders in International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have scheduled a vote despite the
objections of local officials.

 

Since the Machinists rejected a
contract offer last month, the company has solicited bids from other
states. A total of 22 states have submitted offers to secure work on the
777X.

 

Boeing’s warning on Monday focused on the composite wing
needed for the 777X. John Lovick, the Snohomish County executive, said
Boeing plans to build a 1.2 million square foot building in order to
construct the wing in the Puget Sound if the Machinists approve the
latest offer.

 

The political leaders said the company’s warnings
didn’t address where the fuselage would be built if Machinists reject
the offer.